Scott Sports are a Swiss producer of top-end bikes, famed for their innovation and race pedigree, Scott have a wide range of mountain bikes and mountain e-bikes (or eRides) that cover every discipline of mountain biking. This blog covers the normal mountain bikes. E-bikes to follow!
Let's explain the models based on the ruggedness of terrain they are intended for:
Cross Country (XC)
Light weight, nimble bikes. A step up in toughness from a gravel bike. Flat bars, front suspension and wider, grippier tyres with a 1x drivetrain designed for less the gentler off road terrain. Quick climbers and fast rolling with enough beef to keep your speed on the rugged sections.
The Scale is the flagship hardtail. As a weight saver and also to ensure responsiveness when pedalling these bikes tend to have only front suspension, typically with 100mm-120mm of travel. Race ready and with a more progressive geometry from 2023 onwards, the Scale is designed to be a cross country whippet. A lightweight, yet stiff frame makes this bike super responsive and capable on off road terrain. As a hardtail, the entry level models are a cheaper route into MTB, starting prices from £1,069 up to the professional racers weapon at £13,799 😅
2. Trail Bikes
A level up on beefiness vs. the cross country bikes. Trail bikes, as the name implys are designed for trail riding. In the UK a prime example of where these bikes excel is the many trail centres and rocky natural rides. Reasonably light, agile climbers with full suspension, progressive geometry and tough frame sets with bigger brakes giving more stopping power. The full suspension frames typically have 120mm-160mm of travel.
The Spark is at the nimbler end of trail biking dipping into both the XC and trail categories. With 130mm upfront and 120mm rear travel, slimmer faster rolling 2.4" tyres the Spark is designed for speed, and in my opinion on the blue to red level trails. The addition of rear suspension adds weight to the bike and benefits traction and feel on rougher terrain. Benefiting from an internal shock (to be discussed in a later blog, but to summarise it benefits the weight distribution of the frame, as well as keeping your shock clean!) the sleek frame design centres it's mass around the bottom bracket adding to the planted feel of the bike. The revolutionary Scott patented twin-loc comes into play at this level of bike, allowing you to firm up suspension at the click of a switch, reducing the bob and wasted energy synomonous with full suspension bikes. The Spark is the weapon of choice by legends such as Nick Craig and Nino Schurter with prices ranging from £3k to £14k.
The Genius is rightfully named so, as this bike is the best compromise you can get as a real do it all mountain bike. With different travel options, the most popular being 160mm front and 150mm rear, the patented Twin-loc, this bike climbs exceptionally well and flys down the downhills. Extremly capable on a cross country routes and matching that capability on Enduro trails, if you want one bike for many ride types, this is the one for you. Again prices at £3k for a base model up to £14k for a dream build.
Bigger features, bigger drops, rocks and gaps. To conquer all this, on an Enduro bike you will find bigger travel, stronger frames, wider grippier tyres, slacker geometries, wider bars and even bigger brakes, giving a more aggressive attack focused riding position. All this leads to benefits going downhill, at the compromise of uphill and general rolling speed.
A slacker, longer bike with 170mm travel, as we process to tougher terrain the bikes become tougher. Everything is burlier making the bike more capable on the more rugged terrain. Typically the trade off for a better performing downhill bike is poorer performance everywhere else, although this new breed of Enduro bike truly does combat that theory. The Ransom does outperform the genius on downhill runs but is not obviously different on all other aspects. Although, if the super technical downhills are not your thing you would find the Ransom too much of a compromise. Priced from £3k to £14k.
Purely focused on going down the mountain. Going up is for uplifts! Burlier again, more aggressive geometry, longer travel, thicker / wider tyre casings, downhill bikes are built to withstand the abuse of going downhill all day long.
As big as burley as they come. Designed for pure unadulterated speed on the downhills. 203mm travel. The only aspect holding you back on a bike like this unfortunately is you!
In a perfect world we could all have one of each in our garage, ready to roll out onto the type of trail that tickles our fancy of the moment. In the real world I personally think you should buy a bike for the 90% of riding you do. For myself, the Genius ticks a lot of boxes, very capable on the downhills yet still agile enough to be quick on the climbs. It's perfect on my local Peak District terrain. It will lack a bit on the black diamond runs at the likes of Dyfi bike park, but for that 1 trip a year I make, I'm happy to compromise or even hire a downhill bike for the day!
I hope some of you will find this useful!
The low down on E-bikes will follow.